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Many SPOILERS are contained throughout these posts. You have been warned!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Metroid Zero Mission high playthrough log part 2

Lower Norfair has some weird plant-like tentacles I gotta blast through with missiles... usually seeing this kind of thing means... yep miniboss time
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this thing is so easy wtf... it only has one attack, doesn't shoot nearly fast enough that you can't just dodge all its shots easily. plus you can destroy its shots with a single uncharged wave beam and get health/ammo. there's almost like no point to this boss. I wonder if he is much harder on hard mode.

Ridley's ship has landed...
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- Ridley's Lair -

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Can't destroy this thing with my wave beam, need super missiles to get passed the first door... damn I guess I missed something. Went back to Norfair.. oh wait, that miniboss I killed just now is gone, and his dead body is no longer blocking the path leading down. This is another entrance into Ridley's Lair, and it leads to where that creature was.
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This is getting spooky... looks like that creature hatched out of its cocoon.
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I stepped on its eggs and crushed them, and then killed the thing's stinger, and then it killed itself and opened a new way forward. got the Super Missile.

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I recognize the layout of Ridley's Lair really well, but this game makes it feel much less confusing somehow. Every area feels more unique and recognizable than the samey looking corridors of Metroid 1. And at the same time, they also added a bunch of new hidden paths that weren't in the original game. Some of these missiles and stuff are really well hidden.
It's very easy to find the items that are on the blue path, since the map already gives away where they are, but the hidden green paths are very sneaky.
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Got to the boss room.. Ridley isn't there at first, and you can go right through and pick up the "unknown item" from a chozo statue. Ridley is at the top of the room waiting for you when you come back.

Ridley is kinda tough to dodge, but on normal mode he goes down very quickly with some super missiles... psh, "normal" mode in this game is more like easy mode.. easy mode in this must be even more pathetic.
I guess I'm done with Ridley's Lair.

- Norfair 3 -

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woah cool, this new path that opened up behind the Ridley elevator is completely new. a decapitated chozo statue, a screw attack wall... there's a lot more to Norfair in this game for sure.

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There's this green path that goes through the tube that was in the background of the 2 entrances into Ridley's Lair. That's really cool, I originally assumed that tube was just there in the background for aesthetic purposes and not actually part of the level.
Then, a morphball booster shot me up all the way back to upper Norfair and into a new green area. I think I'm probably getting close to the screw attack...
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yep.

In Metroid 1, getting the screw attack is where the game takes a major turn to the point where Samus goes from being in constant danger and fighting for her life against an onslaught of tough enemies, to being an overpowered tank that just ignores everything in her path and storms through to the end of the game.

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Ok, so I think my next step is to go back down through lower Norfair to clean up the obvious stuff I can see on the map, and loop back around until I get back to the Brinstar/Crateria elevators. Then after checking out Crateria again, I'll go back to the beginning Brinstar section and get the one thing I see that's still uncollected in Kraid, and idk I guess just go to Tourian after that and shoot down the brain.

more Norfair exploration...
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wtf, I can't figure out how to get passed this part.. the screw attack is really making this harder than it would be otherwise, cuz most of the time when I try to jump onto this frozen enemy I'll accidentally kill it instead. I'm almost thinking maybe you can get there from another side and exit through this way?

used a chozo statue to get back to full health, and then went back to that left vertical green area which is all submerged in lava, and by now I had enough full energy tanks to make it through without dying.
I also found another green area where it looked like you needed to come back with the space jump to get the super missile, but instead I managed to get it with some tricky timing with laying a morphball bomb and then doing a shinespark.. I recall this game having way cooler shinespark puzzles than Super Metroid.

Went back to check out Crateria and Chozo Ruins... but it seems there's still nothing else I can do here for now. Everything seems to require either power bombs or space jump or gravity suit..
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This is the only thing I found here, but I have no idea how to get it... I guess it's back to Brinstar.

- Brinstar 3 -

lmao this hidden path in one of the vertical shafts.. how did I not find this one yet?
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wow this is a really cool puzzle... the speedboost block that you find here hints toward the small fake wall tunnel on the other side of the shaft opposite to it. it's obvious you're gonna need to speedboost as morphball from that direction. this is a really complex shinespark puzzle. eventually I figured out that you have to run to the left, charge the shinespark before hitting the wall, and then go back right through the door, open the door behind you, then morph and shinespark towards the small incline so that you keep your charge and can move around somewhere else and shinespark again on that same charge, and there's a series of small inclines like that to let you keep doing very specificly placed shinesparks until you eventually get to the missile.

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I'm pretty sure I need the gravity suit for this one missile in Kraid though. you can't speedboost at all in this sandpit.

and yeah, still can't do anything at the Brinstar Crateria elevator until I get power bombs.
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huh... I guess I'll be coming back at some point after I destroy Mother Brain. I know about the section coming up after that, but I don't remember it extremely well.
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- Tourian -
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I recognize those alien enemies from Super Metroid. The metroids here have gone rogue and started eating them.
Jeez... did they put enough save points in this section? Not only are the metroids in this game much slower and easier to deal with in this game, but they also felt the need to give you a save point after like every room, it's kind of insulting honestly.
ooh.. there's green rinka generators that shoot at a faster rate than the red rinkas.. the mother brain fight is decently challenging, although again like all the boss battles in this game, they go down way too easily.

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Then suddenly, after the escape sequence where the original Mother 1 would've ended, there's a cutscene showing Samus getting captured by space pirates, and she ends up crash landed back on Zebes, and needs to infiltrate Ridley's ship to get her power suit back.

- Chozodia 1 -

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This part of the game is very interesting. It's such a massive contrast to when Samus was in her nearly full-powered suit with all that equipment, to now when she's armorless and has nothing but a stun pistol, and can't even morph or bomb walls anymore.

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It immediately becomes apparent that this part of the game is gonna require some stealth, at least until I can get the power suit back...
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It's not just a short little gimmick section either. This is a full fledged map region with tons of hidden secrets... For now though you can't get most of them, and you're stuck on a mostly linear path due to your limited capabilities.
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As you go further, it gets more and more tricky and I start getting caught more often. Whenever you get caught, the best thing to do is just constantly run, stunning any enemy that's in your way, until you find a spot to lose them and wait there for the security alarm to go away.

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A lot of times, you can't actually progress if you get caught, because some of the doorways lock up while the alarm is going off. It's actually really easy to screw up and get killed here if you don't know where to go to hide. This one place I thought looked like a good hiding spot, an enemy showed up behind a fake wall and shot me from there.
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It really does ramp up in difficulty a lot as you go through it, forcing you to take the situation seriously and not just carelessly run around like you did when you were fully equipped. I like this section a lot, it really does a good job of showing how Samus is so much weaker without her power suit, but still capable enough to get by. At the big laser maze room I cheesed it by walljumping up and going overtop of the whole thing.

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Noooo! where are you taking my power bombs?

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I got caught a lot during these last few rooms. There's a lot of traps around here that are hard to avoid unless you know what to expect.
This area is kind of weird, all this chozo imagery all over the place... but isn't this the space pirate ship? Why do the space pirates have all this chozo stuff?

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Samus sees this big power suit mural and remembers her childhood...
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wow this boss is really interesting. Although it's more like a little minigame than a boss... you just have to shoot the orb whenever it is not showing a mirror image of Samus, and do that 4 times to complete its test and get the power suit back.
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Hell yeah, I love this... again the contrast between unequipped Samus and Samus with her power suit is immediately apparent. The music changed to the classic Brinstar music just now, to even further emphasize the sudden difference in mood. Those red alien enemies that Samus had to hide from before are now just health/ammo fodder, and they're now the ones that are hiding from her.

Completing this test also made the 3 unknown items turn into the space jump, the gravity suit, and the plasma beam... Samus's power suit is now almost at 100% full capabilities, with the exception of the power bombs that are still being hidden away by the space pirates somewhere. I guess all of these items were part of the full powered suit originally created by the Chozo, which is why the X parasite gained all of these abilities when it absorbed the power suit in Metroid 4. Originally, these items weren't introduced until Metroid 2 and 3, but since ZM added this new expanded story segment, it shows that Samus already had all of these abilities at the end of Metroid 1.

The area is now permanently under security lockup, but Samus can now go through screw attack walls and other stuff instead to get around. This whole area has now become much more open.
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The power bombs... now Samus is back to 100% full capabilities.
I've gone to all of the obvious places on the map, but I'm pretty sure there's a lot more I could find from exploring this ship... I haven't even found the way back to the other sections of Zebes yet... but for now I may as well beat the last boss on this high session and see what completion % I got.

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75% in just just barely under 4:20. of course...
that boss was decently challenging, but again goes down way too quickly on normal mode.
I copied the file to another slot in order to check out what the New Game+ is like.

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It lets you switch the difficulty... definitely gonna go with hard mode next time. The enemies move a lot faster and take more hits to kill, I think hard mode is much more accurate to the original NES Metroid, and should've actually been called the real "Normal" mode. Normal should've been called Easy mode, and Easy should've been called Very Easy.

I still gotta go back to my high playthrough files in Super, Fusion, and this game and attempt to 100% it while high. I'll do that eventually.

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